Based on visual observation, ancient healers described
inflammation by the presence of five predictable signs:
Redness - Due to increased
blood flow to the area
Swelling (Edema) -Due to increased passage of blood and
lymphatic fluid into the surrounding tissues, infiltration of specialized
immune cells into the damaged area, and in cases of prolonged inflammatory
responses, the development of scar tissue.
Heat - Due to increased blood
flow to the area.
Pain - Due to the direct
effects of immune mediators (inflammatory cytokines) and the stretching of
sensory nerves caused by the swelling.
Loss of Function - Refers to
simple loss of mobility in a joint (from pain and swelling) or to the
replacement of functional cells with scar tissue.
Although in ancient times it was recognized as being
part of the healing process, up until the end of the 19th century,
inflammation was viewed as being an undesirable response that was harmful to
the host. Since then, we have come to appreciate the crucial role inflammation
plays in protecting the body from injury as well as its destructive role in
chronic illness.We know today that
inflammation is far more complex than it might first appear, and that it is
intimately tied to the immune system s response to injury or infection.
The scope of inflammation ranges from classic inflammation described above
in response to trauma to acute inflammation (S. aureus infection of the skin
resulting in a boil) to chronic inflammatory processes (remodeling of artery
walls in atherosclerosis, the bronchial wall in asthma and chronic bronchitis,
or the debilitating destruction of joints with rheumatoid arthritis).
The inflammatory process involves the
major cells of the immune system, including neutrophils, basophils, mast cells,
T-cells, and B-cells, all regulated in such a way as to ensure that exactly the
right cells are recruited.These events
are controlled by a host of extracellular regulators including cytokines
(interferons), growth factors (TNF), eicosanoids (prostaglandins,
leukotrienes, etc.), complement and peptides, most of which have only been
discovered in the last twenty years.
Inside the cell there is an equally bewildering array
of complex signaling pathways that move from inactive to dedicated roles within
the inflammatory response.Which cells
and mediators come into play depends on a wide range of factors, including the
root cause (type of pathogen, autoimmune, chemical or physical injury, etc.),
the tissue or organ involved, and whether the inflammation is of an acute
(resolving) or chronic (non-resolving) form.
These cells are powerful defensive agents of the body, but the toxins
they release (including reactive oxygen
species) are injurious to the organism's own tissues as well as invading
agents. This is why chronic inflammation is almost always accompanied by tissue
War is the Metaphor For Inflammation
Both are necessary evils. Both are more or less
stereotyped responses to outside threats. There are specialized troops (white
cells), including suicide-commandos (neutrophils), long-term siege armies (granulomas),
and many others. There are supply routes (vessels), communications and
intelligence (mediators), and a huge array of lethal weapons (inflammatory
enzymes). In war as in inflammation, there will be damage to both the enemy and
to friendly forces, and there will very likely be severe damage to the
Despite idealistic rhetoric about "the laws of
war", when the fighting starts, there is really only one law for the
soldiers: "Kill your enemy." Like it or not, if you want peace, you
must be prepared to fight under certain conditions. Like it or not, if you want
to be healthy, your body must be able to mount an inflammatory response.
will always rule our world. Our best hope is that this will be the force of
good laws. And the best for which we can hope from the inflammatory response is
that, for most of our lives, it will do us more good than harm.Most
likely, however, your own death will be caused by your last inflammatory
Some of the common markers of inflammation include C-Reactive Protein (CRP), homocysteine and fibrinogen, all of which are important indicators of sudden cardiac event risk. These and other markers such IL6, histamine, and WBC's also measure the body's response to infection.
Various outcomes of inflammation may be expected. Resolution of the pathogenic threat is certainly the desired outcome. However, connective tissue scarring, abcess
formation, and ongoing or chronic inflammation is all too often seen in Americans today.
Prescriptions can offer effective symptom management, but typically with nasty side effects.That being said, they may offer the best hope for finding ways to relieve a genetic
NSAIDS (Aspirin, Naprosyn, Vioxx, Celebrex) inhibit
the enzyme cyclo-oxygenase (COX1 and/or COX2) which lowers inflammation and
pain, but they also cause erosion of the gastric membranes and can disrupt blood
clotting mechanisms resulting in sudden heart attack.
Glucocorticoids reduce inflammation (but not pain) by
directly inhibiting leukocyte function.High dosages are required for efficacy, so topical use is best to minimize
to Combat Inflammation
Thymus Support - Thymus glandular extracts restore integrity to the immune
system by nourishing the conductor of the orchestra , the thymus gland, and
providing support to "central intelligence".Antioxidants, vitamins and minerals neutralize
free radicals and fuel mediators to inflammatory pathways.
Proteolytic Enzymes are often prescribed in Europe as a natural alternative to NSAIDS for controlling pain and inflammation. Systemic enzymes have powerful direct anti-inflammatory
effects as a result of their influence on immune cells, but also because of their role in "cleaning up the battlefield".
Liver Support - Today more than ever, our bodies are under siege, inside and out.Inflammation greatly increases the toxic burden
on the liver, which is all the more troubling given that the liver is responsible for synthesizing or recycling the vast majority of
proteins that regulate signaling pathways for inflammation.
Probiotics - The beneficial bacteria in our gut directly reduce systemic inflammation
that originates from the GI tract (which is a large percentage).
Essential Fatty Acids (especially
omega 3 fats ALA,
EPA and DHA and the omega 6 fat GLA) normalize the lipid profile, inhibit the release of
leukotrienes and other cytokines, and provide building blocks for prostaglandins
that stabilize inflammatory pathways.
Quercetin is a natural
anti-histamine (without side effects), and pantothenic acid (Vitamin B-5) provides nourishment to adrenal glands to
support natural anti-inflammatory pathways.
Lifestyle avoidance of chemicals and other toxins is critical to preventing and managing chronic inflammation. Chelation therapy may be helpful in reducing ones toxic burden and thereby reducing the ongoing stimulus for inflammation.
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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.